Nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements are just one of the many types of dietary supplements available in the market. Dietary supplements include vitamin or herbal extractions as part of their ingredients. Like other supplements, nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements come in pill, gel capsule, liquid, or powder forms.
Getting the most out of supplements
As the consumption of nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements increase, more studies dedicated to maximizing its benefits to the body are being conducted. The formula is simple: Dietary supplements must complement your diet. They should not overpower, cancel, or take away from the nutrients that your body absorbs from your natural diet.
Below are some tips collated from these different studies. They should help you maximize the performance of the nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements you take.
1. Excessive supplements can harm you.
Even though nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements contribute to a healthy lifestyle, taking too much of them can be dangerous. This is because supplements can be likened to drugs in that they are also reactive to other elements present inside the body.
For instance, too much iron may increase your chances of getting iron overload. Excess iron may builds up in tissues of your vital organs (such as your liver or heart). This overload is a chronic disease that when left untreated may lead to hemochromatosis, which is potentially deadly.
Unless your doctor prescribes that you need an excess amount of a certain nutrient for a certain medical condition, it is still best to just take the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). No previous studies or data can prove that taking more nutritional vitamin and herbal supplements than what set in the RDA has beneficial effects.
2. Natural does not mean safe.
Claims that nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements are safer because they are natural are very misleading. Never buy supplements just because the manufacturer says that they are ‘natural.’
Some plants are toxic in nature and can be harmful or deadly for human consumption. For example, the herb ephedra was pulled out of the market after it was linked to the death of a famous athlete. Play it safe and ask your doctor.
3. Supplement does not mean substitute.
While it is true that nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements can greatly help you get and maintain the recommended nutrients you need for a healthy lifestyle, it is wrong to look at supplements as substitutes for the natural sources of vitamins and nutrients. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet and just use supplements to fill your nutrition gaps.
4. Ask for professional help.
Because of the risks posed by harmful combinations of nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements and medications, it is best to seek the advice of a doctor or a herbal medicine expert before taking any. Remember that nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements do not work the same way for different people – what works for your neighbor may be harmful to you. Your doctor should evaluate your overall health condition and then diagnose the correct and most potent variety of nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements for you.
5. Be sure your supplement is safe.
Buy only supplements from manufacturers that are pharmaceutical GMP compliant. These manufacturers have passed the most stringent manufacturing standards, so you can be sure that their products are free of harmful contaminants and contain the exact volume of nutrients you pay for.
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